HC Deb 13 March 1958 vol 584 cc75-6W
Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he has given to chief constables with regard to police action in cases of attempted suicide; and when this guidance was given.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The practice of the Metropolitan Police, which was adopted in 1916 with the approval of the Secretary of State, is that where a person who has attempted suicide is brought to a police station and is fit to be temporarily detained the police ascertain whether he has any friends or relations willing and able to accept responsibility for him. If he has, a charge is not preferred unless there are special reasons for doing so, such as the commission of another crime, a previous attempt to commit suicide, definite indications of insanity, threats to renew the act or habitual intemperance. The Metropolitan practice was brought to the notice of chief officers of police in 1921.